Yes, well done on your A-Levels, now to get some fucking done. Because, truly, is that not the one and only noble goal of university? Not the pursuit of knowledge, or the enrichment of you as a person, but the amount of times you can convince someone to don a HockeySoc-branded condom and do fucking with you.
Sex happens a lot at university: during Fresher's Week, when it's freeing and exciting; during the long cold winter, when everyone has got a little doughy from eating pizza all the time. And then you've got frantic "gold rush sex", where everyone facing the reality of graduation prangs out and goes on some desperate quest for frivolous uni sex before the real world hits them like a ton of bricks.
Yes, university truly is a sexual buffet. But what prawns, little sausage rolls and multipack crisps decanted into one big central bowl await you on said buffet? These. These ones:
This will seem like a brilliant idea at first, because having sex with someone who lives a single flight of stairs away from you is the dream for someone who is fundamentally lazy. But: don't. If there was a threat scale for how dangerous an idea this is, it would be fully orange. You might have one or two nights of weird kinky sex, if that, but having to break things off with someone is even more uncomfortable when you share a fridge and you choked them to near-unconsciousness a few nights previous, and they end up spending the remainder of the year paying rent for their room while living in a different house 12 miles away.
THE GIRL WITH THE BOYFRIEND BACK HOME
There she is: doing shots at the bar and complaining to everyone within earshot about the boyfriend she's had since GCSE year who still lives at home and she suspects is cheating on her. With every offence he's committed tossed into the conversation, the more reason – she thinks, you think – that sex should happen to upset him. You slur something along the lines of "deserving better" and supply approximately six minutes of unmemorable intercourse in which nobody climaxes. She cries afterwards and two weeks later an enormous man called Gareth arrives at your door and breaks your Xbox over his knee.
The thing to know about uni drug dealers who make you go to their house to pick up is that i) they're probably in the year above you and their gear will be shit because they're doing it as a favour for free Shambala tickets, and ii) there is a lot of waiting around time in which they will ask you, repeatedly, if you would prefer to have sex than watch in silence as they royally fuck up Rainbow Road on Mario Kart Wii while wearing a Spongebob T-shirt. And yeah, tbh, you would.
THE PERSON WHO WILL PLAY THE JEFF BUCKLEY VERSION OF "HALLELUJAH" AT YOU ON AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR UNTIL YOU GIVE IN
This guy – because it's definitely going to be a guy, isn't it, let's be honest – is the worst. When you experience any emotion that isn't happiness, he will be there, appearing as if by magic like a horny Mr Benn. He has been waiting for someone you like to upset you so he can swoop in with his criticisms of other men and pre-rehearsed sonnets, and then bed you while humming a Radiohead song with his eyes closed.
SOMEONE LOCAL TO THE AREA WHO DOESN'T ACTUALLY GO TO YOUR UNI AND TURNS OUT TO BE EITHER 17 OR 35
Weird thing about university towns is the strange and invisible lines of delineation between students and locals – there are student pubs that locals do not go to, there are local pubs where students are unwelcome, there are restaurants that very obviously do not subscribe to an NUS discount scheme, there are hangover cafés where local builders do not dare to tread because they're full of lads called Ewen trying to do belly-buster challenges while Periscoping it for The Tab – and, essentially, holing up in a university town for eight months of the year is quite a lot like occupying a foreign country and trying to woo the locals with chocolate rations and cigarettes.
Inevitably, this will lead to you getting off with a local in whatever weird local nightclub they frequent – "Peep", "Salt", "Academy"; something like that – and then dragging them back to your halls for sex, revelling in what an exotic fruit you must be to them, what a far-flung treat. Only: they seem to know the code to your halls door before you do. "Oh," they are saying. "You're in B. Yeah, I've never seen B – seen A, seen C, all the same, though, aren't they?" Are... are you the mark, here? Are you being played for a quick fix of sexual satisfaction, not the other way around? After they nip outside for a post-coital fag – "I know how to get back in, don't worry"! – you rustle through their clothes for some ID. And— fuck, dude! You just slept with a 38-year-old!
SOMEONE IN THE OPPOSITE FLOOR AT HALLS AND WHEN YOU INEVITABLY HAVE A POST-COITAL ARGUMENT THE FALLOUT AFFECTS 15, 20 PEOPLE, CAUSING AN IRREVERSIBLE RIFT BETWEEN THE FLOORS THAT OFTEN THREATENS TO BECOME FULL WAR
Halls of residence are territorial, and there is nobody you feel more kinship with in the world than these four-to-18 people you have been forced to live with and hate, which is why when your floor pitches up an uneasy friendship with another floor fireworks are bound to occur. "Woo!" you say, because you are awful. "Woo! Flat B/Flat C shared-night out!" And you go over there for drinking games, into the weird alternate universe version of your halls, the same layout and structure but everything a little off, a little inverted, and you get sloppy drunk playing Never Have I Ever and then some hand stuff happens, but then something goes wrong: either you have an argument with whichever alt-universe version of yourself you fucked, or someone else on your floor does, and everyone else gets caught in the crossfire, and there are lots of tight nods of recognition in corridors, and sub-tweets, and essentially: you all fucked so badly that you will hate each other forever.
For some reason everyone has sex with a nurse, even if nurses don't train at your university. You can always tell when someone has had sex with a nurse because they have this wide-eyed agog look and they suddenly really want to save the NHS.
A GIRL FROM ONE OF THE UNIVERSITY SPORTS TEAMS WHO IS A LOT HARDER AND STRONGER THAN YOU
If a tree falls in the forest and nobody was around to hear it, did it even make a sound? If you go to uni and don't get close-to-pegged by a really hard girl with a stumpy ponytail called "Shan" who can outdrink and outeat you and only ever wears hockey shorts and a personalised hockey club hoodie, it doesn't matter what the weather is, that's what Shan is wearing: did you really go to uni?
A GIRL WITH A SILK SCARF OVER HER LAMP THAT, WITH GRIM INEVITABILITY, SETS ALIGHT WHEN YOU'RE COMMITTING ORAL ON HER
For some reason the Venn diagram of "girls who think joss sticks are important" and "people who are extremely sexually available" is essentially a circle, which on one hand is good because it makes for a fragrant laying environment, but then on the other the fire risk increases ten-fold and there's really nothing that kills your sexual buzz like standing outside with a wet mouth and half a boner while a furious local fire department stalks through every building in your halls looking for what set the smoke alarm off, and somehow your university conspires to send you an £800 invoice for the call out and you have to get two part-time jobs to pay it off.
EVERYONE WHO IS QUITE GOOD FRIENDS WITH THE PERSON YOU WANT TO SLEEP WITH BUT NEVER ACTUALLY THE PERSON YOU WANT TO SLEEP WITH
You don't know what true attraction is until the very sight of a person makes you feel physically sick. A person whose appearance is so disgustingly well crafted you would sooner believe that God is real and sent them here as a test than believe they shot out of a human woman. This person is completely unapproachable. You psych yourself up from afar to say something cool and collected, but when you get within a metre radius of their presence everything that comes out of your mouth is either a retch or a lie.
"Hey, I have that jumper!" you say (you don't). "Yeah, I'm totally in that class! I can give you my notes if you like!" (you're not, you spend the next week not sleeping and learning the entire syllabus to turn into notes). "What's turmeric?" (ugh). Instead, you try to charm your way into their life by hanging out with their extended friendship group like a normal person, meanwhile, the Beautiful Human™ has met their only equal on campus. You attend their wedding four years later, where you are in charge of the guest book.
THE VIRGIN (THE VIRGIN IS ALWAYS A BOY)
After mistaking the fact that he's actually paying attention to the words you're speaking instead of staring down your top for charm, you will end up engaging in some promising foreplay. Promising, because this is the bit he knows how to do, because straight men who have actually had full-on sex are shit at it on purpose, because they know that what happens next is much better (for them). A few minutes of "how's this" and "are you sure you're..." in the missionary position later, he's climaxed in his own hand and you have to spend the next three weeks dodging texts asking you to meet his parents.
THE GUY FROM YOUR FLOOR WHO DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO CHIRPSE BUT REALLY OBVIOUSLY HAS A CRUSH ON YOU SO JUST SAYS 'WHERE'S MY HUG?' A LOT
When you finally succumb to his advances – cold 1AM reflective moment where you've just been binned off by a lad in a denim jacket and you're outside having a smoke and he comes downstairs in just a T-shirt and asks in a small voice if "you're OK", and one thing leads to another – you can basically feel the "how to give a girl an orgasm" WikiHow page he googled earlier through the tips of his fingers, and then he does something really weird and post-coital like spooning you really close and calling you "darling" after.
D-LIST CELEBRITY DOING THE UNIVERSITY FRESHER'S WEEK DJ TOUR AS ONE LAST HURRAH BEFORE CAREER DEATH
Don't want to name names, but at my university a once-popular children's TV presenter who used to have a mullet and whose name sounds a lot like "Bat Parp" played a by-the-numbers 80s hits playlist, said "SHABBA!" a lot to cover the sound of his clumsy mixing and then boomed: "Hey, guys: remember the twins from Fun House? Ever wank over them? Well I wanked over them!" and somehow, after that, he still could have had the sexual pick of pretty much anyone in the room. Dave Benson-Phillips is going to come to your uni. You are going to try and get off with him. If Lizo Mzimba turns up, get your handjob muscles ready for a party.
THAT STUDENT WARDEN NERD WHO HAS NO MATES IN HIS OWN YEAR SO TOOK REDUCED RENT TERMS TO STAY IN FIRST YEAR HALLS WITH ALL YOU LOT, AND HIS ONLY REAL JOB IS TO OCCASIONALLY SHOUT AT YOU ALL FOR MAKING TOO MUCH NOISE AND NOT WASHING UP ENOUGH, AND BASICALLY: CAN A 21-YEAR-OLD GET SO MAD HE HAS A HEART ATTACK
These are either called "resident advisors" or "student wardens" or just "bad grasses" and "cunts", depending on who you ask, but essentially they are third-year or mature students who seem to constantly be revising – it's the first day of Fresher's Week and they are yelling at you all for disturbing their revising, and like what are you revising, my dude? How have you both learnt and forgotten something this quickly? – and essentially they are shadowy presences you only ever really see when they are wearing a hi-vis and shouting at you through a fire drill until, one night, around Christmas, they flop on the incredibly cigarette-marked shared sofa and hold the bridge of their nose and go: "You know, I don't think I'm cut out for this," and you both share a bottle of £4 wine and fuck, and then you don't see them again for six weeks until they rap on your door at 1AM and tell you to turn your TV down, and like, what the heck, man, you've seen my butthole. Respect me more.
LITERALLY NO ONE
The big and ultimate LOL of this list of course is you will work your way through two, maybe three, of these sexual tropes before – as inevitably as the tide washes against the shore – around March in first year you will get a university boyfriend and/or girlfriend, a plain boy in a hoodie called Toby or an uninteresting girl with clean hair called Laura, and you will stay with them throughout the next three years, going to proms and spending your summers criss-crossing the country on trains to see them. You think it is love and it is real, and in third year when you are both revising hard you hold hands in bed at night – tight and close, desperately holding hands, this is the only emotion you've ever felt, this is the only thing that is real, O Lord – and talk about the future and the babies you are going to have together, how you'll both move to the big city and get jobs, you'll be married in two years, have a home together in three, and then like: fucking come on, idiot, you're both going to graduate and go home and never move away, and realise they are boring anyway and break up in a really uneventful and unemotional way, and you'll just be embarrassed about the number of times you waited outside their late-night badminton club meet to walk them home in the safe little sanctuary of your campus life, and then realise, one day, when you are alone at your office job and real life has taken you by the throat, realise that the best and most primo years of your sexual life have been wasted away doing missionary with the same person under fresh blankets before watching a shit load of E4, and you will scream, and scream and scream, and scream, and scream, and scream and scream and scream.
More stuff from VICE: